Premier Badminton League 2016: Hyderabad Hunters beaten by Awadhe Warriors at home
Spirited fights by Jwala Gutta and Lee Chong Wei were not enough to salvage the tie for Hyderabad.
The Saina Nehwal-led Warriors are currently at second spot in the league standings, while the Hunters are at the bottom of the table having been beaten by the Delhi Acers in their last tie.
The teams took each other on at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad, on home soil for the Hunters.
Here’s how the tie between the teams went:
Women’s singles: G Vrushali (Awadhe Warriors) vs Supanida Katethong (Hyderabad Hunters)
Rising Indian badminton star G Vrushali played the first tie of the evening against the Hunters’ Supanida Katethong. 18-year-old Supanida was up against experienced Indian shuttler PC Thulasi in the Hunters’ tie against against the Delhi Acers.
Although Thulasi won the first game, Supanida put up a spirited fight to win the second and third games, and came into today’s tie on the back of a well-earned win.
Vrushali played a strong game, stealing a march on her Thai opponent almost immediately. Poised at 13-7 at one point, Vrushali quickly took the final two points of the first game to seal it 15-7.
It did not seem by any means to be over for Katethong, who won her last tie from a game down – and in fact, she managed to take the lead from her rival in the second game despite being 3 points down to begin with.
Although she managed to hold an 8-7 lead over her opponent at one point during the match, Supanida was on this occasion unable to stage a comeback, and eventually went down in straight games, with Vrushali winning 15-7, 15-11.
Men’s doubles: Carsten Mogensen/Markis Kido (Hyderabad Hunters) vs Bodin Issara/Cai Yun (Awadhe Warriors) [Trump match]
The two former World No. 1s Mogensen and Kido, won the men’s doubles match in the Hunters’ opening PBL tie in a thriller. Cai Yun and Bodin Issara too were unbeaten going into the tie, though, promising a tight, close match.
Yun and Issara put up a spirited fight against the previously-rested pair of Mogensen and Kido, who would have been hoping to play a good game in front of their home crowd, winning the first game 15-10.
Their Hyderabad rivals put up a fight for the second game, equalising with Issara and Yun on multiple occasions.However, the Warriors pair were too much for the team to handle,
The Awadhe Warriors had selected this as their trump match, and therefore led 3-0.
Men’s singles: Parupalli Kashyap (Hyderabad Hunters) vs Sai Praneeth (Awadhe Warriors)
This was the first meeting between the two ace Indian shuttlers. Sai Praneeth came into today’s match on an upset over Rajiv Ouseph but lost to Indian Sameer Verma, while Kashyap is returning from an injury layoff.
In this case, it was the experienced Kashyap who took the first game quickly, dominating Sai Praneeth as he finished 15-6.
Praneeth came back with a vengeance in the second game, though, and after taking a narrow early lead over Kashyap, he held on and widened it, dominating Kashyap in return to win the second game 15-8. He carried that momentum into the third game, going up 8-3 against Kashyap.
With some powerful smashes, Praneeth decimated Kashyap, winning 15-5 and giving the Awadhe Warriors a 4-0 lead.
Men’s singles: Lee Chong Wei (Hyderabad Hunters) vs Tanongsak S (Awadhe Warriors) [Trump match]
Lee Chong Wei was the significant favourite to win this match, but having been upset by Tommy Sugiarto in his last men’s singles match, the champion would have been cautious going into today’s tie.
Indeed, Saensomboonsuk took an early march over Lee, but it did not last for long. With smash after smash and point after point, Lee won the first game 15-8.
From then on, it was the Lee Chong Wei show, as the Malaysian shuttler dominated his Awadhe Warriors’ opponent to win the second game 15-9.
As this was a trump match for Hyderabad, they scored double points.
Mixed doubles: Markis Kido/Jwala Gutta (Hyderabad Hunters) vs Bodin Issara/ Christina Pedersen (Awadhe Warriors)
Both pairs won the last matches they played against their respective opponents, and came into the tie confident of success.
And as expected, the match went down to the wire, as did each game. Kido and Gutta took an early lead in the first game, but Issara and Pedersen managed to catch up midway through and would eventually win the first game 15-12.
Not to be discouraged, Kido and Gutta continued their momentum into the second game, which went so close that the teams were level at 14-all before Gutta and Kido won the second game.
The third game saw powerful badminton from team captain Gutta and an athletic, quick Kido who moved quickly across court to finish the final game 15-10 for the Hyderabad Hunters.
Final result: Awadhe Warriors beat Hyderabad Hunters 4-3